The Immortal King
United States
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6.7 Hours played
Having played Shadow Warrior(original) and its expansions, Shadow Warrior(2013 reboot), and Shadow Warrior 2, and now this. I am saddened to post this review as I am a massive fan of '90s FPS titles and Shadow Warrior wasn't my favorite, but it is a load of fun and I come back to it once and a while just like the rest of the greats.

As for the remake in 2013, I was beyond hyped for it as the franchise needed another entry and I believe they nailed it. Not as good of a remake as Doom(2016), but still damn fine. Shadow Warrior 2 was only an improvement on the first game with a few flaws in my opinion, but I still played it a lot more as it had a ton of replayability with co-op and mostly open gameplay.

Anyway, enough about the previous titles, Shadow Warrior 3 is easily my least favorite in the series and probably the biggest disappointment in recent memory. I say this as I can be picky with what I buy and I know if I bought things like Call of Duty each year or Battlefield 2042 or Babylon's Fall, I think it would seem less harsh, but that is why I do research, watch gameplay, streams, hear other reviews, and listen to the devs and how they sell the game. With this, I was somewhat excited they were making another entry with the release of a trailer and a couple screenshots. Some time later another trailer and more information came to light and it seemed somewhat promising, but I didn't feel as good about it. I considered pre-ordering (rarely do, but will do to support developers I love) and then didn't. It released and saw various reviews on both sides with more negative than positive, despite that, I still purchased it (for $30) and regret the purchase.

There is so much that is wrong with the game and I will do my best to cover it all. Firstly, the story was the thing that I was most curious about considering the previous entries and their endings. Well, I have to say the story is so short, mediocre, and disconnected that it feels like it was VERY rushed and cobbled together with only specs of connections to the previous lore. So, short you say? Yeah, really ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ short as it has 11 levels and when I mean 11 levels, we aren't talking Halo length levels. SPOILERS SPOILERS I can summarize the story in one sentence. SPOILERS SPOILERS Wang unleashed an ancient dragon and lost his mojo because the world went to ♥♥♥♥ and you try to get it back while you argue with Hoji, Zilla, a Tanuki, and Motoko. You see my play time? That is how long it took me to beat it 100% on Hard difficulty first time through with tons of crashes( get to that later). What is more rage-inducing is the level design as 1/3 of the level is cut scenes that shove the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ story along, the next 1/3 is platforming in a not-so-beautiful environment, and the last third being combat. Now you think this sounds bad, but the last sentence is true for some levels as some levels are half cut scene and half platforming with you shooting some ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ dragon vine things that will kill you or stop you.

Now, I mentioned platforming and shooting. The gunplay is good, a shooter through and through with some underwhelming weapons namely the katana becoming extraordinarily weak compared to previous games. My god, I can't talk about the katana without mentioning what it doesn't do. You remember when you played (or didn't, lol) Shadow Warrior(2013) and received the Nobitsura Kage (spelled that wrong I am sure) and destroyed demons as you could slash, Chi-Strike, 360 spin slash, and had Chi force waves from regular slashes? Yeah, all gone and you get Chi-Wave which sucks ass since you might as well not use it on large enemies since they can't be pushed off ledges or into spikes unless it would kill them (basically 1hp) because they will just stupidly slide back on to solid ground. Now that I mention it, you never really feel that powerful or like you are progressively getting better or stronger since you get 7 weapons with 3 upgrades each

Now, seven weapons is a lot for some games, a few for others. My argument is that it tries to copy Doom Eternal so hard and fails to badly. You are given very limited ammo and are forced to quick swap to another gun except the problem is you don't do a whole lot of damage later in the game and are starved for ammo as the gameplay loop gets old fast. The Katana is upgrade to deal elemental damage, but that close range is just suicidal on Hard and you don't get Shurikens so nope. The pistol (yeah, can't even remember most of the names to the guns as they weren't that impactful, just generic) is good for fodder (yeah, I will get to that) and just tickles tougher foes. The Riotgun (shotgun) does negative damage after about 8 feet, but enemies closer than that are red mist until later in the game because then you just use your whole shell supply and kill one big enemy. The sidekicks (uzis) really are only good for the electric bullets upgrade to stun enemies which doesn't work on all enemies, but helpful for the ones it does stun. The Basilisk is basically the Gauss Cannon or Balista from Doom, but so damn weak feeling as none of the upgrades are really that helpful (the freeze headshot is nice, but has a fatal flaw, it only freezes one enemy at a time). Sawblade launcher does decent damage and stuns enemies, but you will eventually run out of ammo so you can't always rely on it since it is about the best weapon. The grenade launcher does good damage, but useless upgrades and 6 shots. So, now that you heard me rant about the weapons, want to hear the worst part? The progression feels off and you feel weak because the guns don't get more ammo as you complete the story, you don't get meaningful upgrades or anything like that. For example, in Doom Eternal, you use Sentinel Crystals to upgrade Health, Armor, Ammo, and receive some bonuses for the upgrades. This helps you get stronger, feel stronger, use weapons longer, and improve the gameplay loop. Here, you always feel weak and nearly out of ammo while demons soak that ♥♥♥♥ up. Speaking of upgrades, I know people might be thinking the karma system from Shadow Warrior(2013) right? Nope, just some orbs for all upgrades which some are hidden in the level while others are put directly in your path and can't miss them. Speaking of secrets, nothing special as it is always a character orb or weapon orb. Nothing funny or neat or a weapon attachment or a jab at other games or money.

Yeah, secret hunting is bland and is always progress through, look around while platforming for an alternate path, take said path, and get orb. No destroy barrel and blow up wall, break vent and crawl through, no Arch-vile jump and reach (oops, wrong timeline), no sexy babes taking a bath. In fact, the only female figure in the game is Motoko which is yeah, a character that comes out of no where and is essential to the plot while being Zilla's love interest(WTF)???

I know this is lengthy, but I still have so much to say, lol. Where was I? Platforming, sure, let's not forget traversal which is half of the game so I hope you like that. Honestly the verticallity of older and newer FPS' alike, it is enjoyable when it is done right or has a purpose. Good examples: Doom(2016), Doom Eternal, Duke Nukem 3D, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Shadow Warrior(2013), Shadow Warrior 2 to name a few. Here it feels like they gave Wang a grappling hook then put "climable" and "wall-running capable" vines everywhere with these dumb green rings all over the place. If you don't follow this, you die as you either don't make it or there is just a kill wall that makes you redo the platforming. Ugh.

Nextly, enemies I know you are curious about since they showcased that a ton with the gore weapons which tie in to the glory kill system of the game. Except it doesn't work like it should and I was constantly annoyed that Doom(2016) and Doom Eternal already did it and they messed it up. So, you have 2 bars (3 bars two levels before the end) that will fill up when read comments ->
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Created by - The Immortal King
This guide will assist you in getting all of the achievements as well as teach you a thing or two about the game.
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751 Hours played
This game is old styled but very fun and addictive. The game keeps to just the 2D plane but creates a good sandbox/survival game. The graphics were obviously directed towards looking retro and does a good job of it. The game play is just nearly endless, even by yourself, and the support of mods can make it something to be worth getting in any regard.

The massive amount of content poured into the game since this review is insane. Sadly, the team decided to stop adding not too long ago, but it was a fun experience and I still come back every once in a while to start a new character or challenge myself in a new way or get some items I never got before. Even after all of the time I put it, there is still always something fresh to do and mods only add to that, with friends even more so. I can't recommend this game enough as from the beginning to the end, it transformed into one fun sandbox/adventure game to the best sandbox/adventure game ever (in my opinion).